TUCSON - Prosecutors in Arizona Rep. Rick Renzi’s corruption trial have handed over much of their evidence to defense attorneys so they can prepare for trial.
In a U.S. District Court filing, federal prosecutors say Renzi and co-defendants James Sandlin, a former business partner, and Andrew Beardall, former president and general counsel of Renzi’s family owned insurance company, each has been sent a box of evidence.
Renzi was indicted in February on 35 counts, including conspiracy, wire fraud, extortion, money laundering and insurance fraud.
The material handed over to the defense includes four binders of FBI agents’ or analysts’ reports, 84 compact discs of consensual and other recordings and scanned images of 115 exhibits used in grand jury sessions.
Also included are grand jury transcripts of testimony from three former congressional staff members, 36 DVDs, FBI inventory lists of evidence and 15 mirrored computer drives.
In a separate filing, prosecutors issued notice that statements made by the defendants will be introduced into evidence at trial.
Finally, the government issued a corporate disclosure statement identifying Resolution Copper Mining LLC of Superior, Preserve Petrified Forest Land Investors LLC of Scottsdale, and North Island Facilities Ltd. of Manhasset, N.Y., as for-profit corporate victims of criminal activity alleged in the indictment earlier this year.
Calls to attorneys for Renzi, Sandlin and Beardall were not returned immediately Friday.
Resolution Copper Mining is owned by Resolution Copper Co., a wholly owned subsidiary of Rio Tinto PLC and BHP Copper, which is owned by BHP Billiton.
Renzi, 50, is not running for a fourth term from Arizona’s 1st Congressional District.
The indictment accuses the congressman of crafting a swap of federally owned mining land that would benefit himself and Sandlin.
Authorities also contend that he stole from clients of his family owned insurance company to help finance his first congressional campaign.
The trial for all three, who have pleaded not guilty, is scheduled to start March 24.